Attack on Victoria police officer triggers massive search for assailant

A Victoria police officer has been released from hospital with a head wound and a concussion after an apparent ambush assault in Vic West late Thursday night.

The officer was checking on a woman at Banfield Park at approximately 11:30 p.m. when he was suddenly attacked by an unknown man.

The officer radioed for help, triggering a massive response from police, firefighters, the Coast Guard and even the military.

Officers from Victoria, Saanich, the West Shore RCMP and military police from Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt flooded the area.

The injured officer was found on the ground suffering a head wound and was taken to hospital.

Three canine units were deployed to the area around the park, while a Victoria fire response vessel, a Coast Guard vessel and a navy dive vessel scoured the Gorge waterway and Victoria’s upper harbour for the assailant.

Forensic investigators were on scene to process evidence Friday morning, while patrol officers conducted a grid search of the park area.

The officer has been released from hospital and is recovering at home.

“The officer is doing relatively well under the circumstances,” Victoria police Chief Del Manak said Friday afternoon. “They are injuries that are non-life-threatening, however, potentially they could be life-altering injuries and that is a serious concern.”

No arrests have been made in the case and an intensive search for the man continued Friday afternoon.

Police described the perpetrator as a white man, between 40 and 50 years old. He was wearing a blue hooded sweater with white drawstrings.

“To see one of our officers assaulted in a violent manner, and in the way that this assault occurred, is troubling,” Manak added.

The chief declined to say whether anything was taken from the injured officer while he was down.

Investigators are hoping to identify the woman who was at the scene before the attack. She is described as a white woman, approximately 50 years old, with grey hair, who appeared distraught at the time.